Dominique Williams’ family speaks after he was fatally shot in back by police

A relative of Dominique Williams called the circumstances around his death 'cruel'

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The family of Dominique Williams has spoken out after he was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.

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Multiple relatives have shared with the Washington Post how the killing of their loved one has impacted their lives. Williams, 32, was fatally shot in the back by off-duty police officer David Hall Dixon outside of a residential complex in Takoma Park, Md on April 7. Dixon claimed he assumed Williams and others were stealing a vehicle and fired shots. The family is rightfully outraged at the death.

“He became the judge, jury and executioner on his own free will,” said Erica Teel, a cousin to the Post. “Our family is devastated by this.”

“What he did was cruel,” Malik Teel, Williams’s brother added.

Dominique Williams
Image via GoFundMe

According to the report, the brothers had a close relationship, speaking every morning. Their mother, father and grandparents had already passed and they have no other siblings. Erica Teel shared positive memories of Williams who she remembers as a happer person from childhood into adulthood.

“He loved living life,” Teel said. “He lived each day to the fullest. . . . My cousin was not just anybody. He cared about his family, and we cared about him dearly as well.”

James Johnson, 38, was also killed by Dixon during the incident. Both men died on the way to the hospital. A third victim Michael Thomas was also injured. theGrio reported Dixon was taken into custody on Friday. According to  Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy, he is being held without bond.

He is charged with two counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, reckless endangerment, and two counts of second-degree murder, and attempted second-degree murder.

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According to the Post, Dixon claimed he fired as they attempted to run him over. However, video evidence shows the car driving away. Both men were fatally shot in the back. Johnson’s family echoed similar feelings and shared the two men were best friends. David E. Haynes, an attorney representing the Johnson family, said “that this is in no way a justified shooting.”

Takoma Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul  agreed.

“Mr. Dixon had no lawful or justifiable reason to shoot and kill Mr. Williams and Mr. Johnson,” he said during a news conference. “He was a civilian, who acted as a civilian, who happened to be a law enforcement officer in another jurisdiction.”

Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart released a statement regarding the deadly shooting.

“Dominique Williams and James Lionel Johnson were shot and killed at the hands of an off-duty Pentagon police officer. We are horrified by these events, and acknowledge this is all the more painful for those who have and continue to experience profiling based upon their appearance and brutality at the hands of those sworn to protect us,” the statement read.

“There has been too much pain, trauma, and loss of life. It needs to end. From my perspective, there is no justification for what this person did. We do not and cannot tolerate violence. Our City is committed to ensuring justice is served. And it will be. In Takoma Park, we must continue our work towards creating a just community. We are committed to reimagining public safety and ending this cycle of violence and trauma.”

An off-duty Pentagon police officer has been charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of two men outside a Takoma Park condo building. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

theGrio reported Dixon has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is conducting an additional investigation.

According to a statement on behalf of Dr. Daniel P. Walsh, the PFPA acting director said they are “conducting a stand-down with our officers to ensure they have a full understanding of their off duty responsibilities and review our use of force policy and jurisdictional considerations.”

PFPA officers are only allowed to fire their weapon off duty “when violence is being committed or immediately threatened.”

Williams’s family launched a GoFundMe campaign where they hope to raise $25,000 for the funeral expenses and financial assistance for his four children, Dominique Jr., Harlem, Trinity and Treasure.

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